Toyota Storm To Silverstone FIA WEC Pole Position

Toyota Racing took the upper hand as the FIA World Endurance Championship kicked off its first weekend of the year at Silverstone as the #7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Kazuki Nakajima, Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin took a stunning pole position.

It was a narrow pole position as the #1 Audi of Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi finished just 0.005 seconds behind while the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid took an impressive third place on its debut qualifying performance.

Joining Porsche on the second row of the gris is the #2 Audi of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotter and Marcel Fassler, ahead of the #8 Toyota and #6 Porsche.

Rebellion Racing put in an impressive performance in their Lola B12/60 – Toyotas as they finished the session within 1.5 seconds of the pole-sitting Toyota.

LMP2 saw top honours fall to the G-Drive Racing #26 Morgan – Nissan ahead of the #47 KCMG car which was 0.283 seconds behind. The other two cars of the depleted LMP2 grid, the SMP Racing Oreca – Nissans struggled throughout the session and would finish more than two seconds behind the class pole sitting Morgan.

Both GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes were dominated by the AF Corse Ferrari’s with Toni Vilander and Gianamaria Bruni taking top honours ahead of the #91 Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy by 0.255 seconds.

The #92 Porsche and the #71 AF Corse entry make up the second row of the Pro grid while a struggling Aston Martin Racing team could only manage fifth in class with a time which was slower than the leading GTE-Am car.

The RAM Racing Ferrari makes up the third row of the GTE-Pro grid while Craft-Bamboo Racing finished in a disappointing seventh place on their debut.

Michele Rugolo and Marco Cioci lead the way in the GTE-Am class with a time of 1:59.932, nearly one-second clear of the rest of the field. The #98 Aston Martin joins the Ferrari on the front row of the class followed by the #61 AF Corse Ferrari.

The only incident of the session saw the #53 Ram Racing Ferrari of Ben Collins spin on his out lap, before going on to qualify seventh in class.